Glory Hymn of Matins of Holy Tuesday
Ἰδού σοι τὸ τάλαντον ὁ Δεσπότης ἐμπιστεύει ψυχή μου· φόβῳ δέξαι τὸ χάρισμα, δάνεισαι τῷ δεδωκότι, διάδος πτωχοῖς, καὶ κτῆσαι φίλον τὸν Κύριον· ἵνα στῇς ἐκ δεξιῶν αὐτοῦ, ὅταν ἔλθῃ ἐν δόξῃ, καὶ ἀκούσῃς μακαρίας φωνῆς· Εἴσελθε, δοῦλε, εἰς τὴν χαρὰν τοῦ Κυρίου σου. Αὐτῆς ἀξίωσόν με, Σωτήρ, τὸν πλανηθέντα, διὰ τὸ μέγα σου ἔλεος.
Behold, my soul, how the Master has entrusted the talent to you. With fear accept the gift of God. Borrow it from the One who gave it; distribute to the poor, and earn the Lord’s friendship; so that you may stand at His right when He comes in His glory, and might hear that blessed voice, “Enter, my servant, into your Master’s joy.” O Saviour, I have gone astray; still count me worthy of this joy, in Your great mercy.
The major themes of Holy Tuesday Matins are: the Parable of the Ten Virgins; with parallel mention of the fruitless fig tree which our Lord cursed, causing it to die; and, the Parable of the Talents. This hymn is a direct reminder of the Parable of the Talents, where the first two servants of a Master, being entrusted with money, yielded a reward on it, whereas the third servant, out of laziness and pride hid the money he was granted, yielding no return. God grants each of us gifts, entrusting them to us for the spiritual benefit of all. The hymn reminds us that, “every good thing comes from above” when it implores us to borrow the gift from the One who gave it. It may be material wealth.
St John Chrysostom warns us that if wealthy people are not charitable, they are completely useless and moreover pose a threat to society as a whole, having been overcome by the passions of love of money and over-indulgence. A true friend of the Lord is someone who gifts his material wealth to those in need. However this hymn has a spiritual component as well. If God has granted someone, for the sake of example, with gifts such as knowledge of the Scriptures and Orthodoxy, or the ability to teach others about the faith, they are obligated to share this as fruitful members of the Church.
Ultimately though the most important gift that God granted to us, is His own self. To be unified with Christ means that we must change our minds, turning from sin. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart – these, O God, You will not despise.” (Psalm 50) The gift of repentance is the most important talent that we have all been gifted with. Without cultivating this, we cannot enter into our Master’s joy.
Source: Lychnos April – May 2019